From the Vault...


Joe Cocker
"Joe Cocker!"

© A&M Records

Year of Release: 1969

track listing
  • Dear Landlord
  • Bird On The Wire
  • Lawdy Miss Clawdy
  • She Came In Through
    The Bathroom
  • Hitchcock Railway
  • That's Your
    Business Now
  • Something
  • Delta Lady
  • Hello Little Friend
  • Darling Be Home Soon

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Joe Cocker related sites:
    Joe Cocker Website
    Previous Review: #770
    Cab Calloway--Hi-De-Hi!
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    Blues Brothers & Friends--Live From Chicago's House Of Blues
    Joe Cocker
    "Joe Cocker!"

    This 1969 release became my first discovery of Joe Cocker, as a young child. Having this album on vinyl, it was one of many albums regularly played. Of course with all of the wear and tear of playing this album continuously (as many others), the vinyl became worn. When compact discs became the new source of music, I was shopping at a downtown Chicago Record Store (Tower Records), and I noticed this album on CD, as I obviously grabbed it. Today, this released has been given the re-issue treatment, with the original and bonus tracks. This release for review contains the original tracks only, as it brings back such great childhood memories, as I still enjoy this album to this day.

    In Cocker's early career, his albums consisted of cover tunes by well-known artists of the day. Each song on this release (with the exception of two) is just that -- penned by such artists as John Lennon-Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen, Joe Cocker presents his own unique style, giving each song a different texture that that of the original artists who recorded them.

    Bob Dylan's "Dear Landlord" opens this release, and being a great tune to start the album, it is one I always enjoyed listening to, dating back to the vinyl days. Leonard Cohen's "Bird On The Wire" is a sweet ballad, fitting Cocker's voice perfectly.

    Cocker's rough-edged voice rocks perfectly on Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," likewise on The Beatles' "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window." Where The Beatles' version may have a more pop sound, Cocker's exceptional voice gives it a more rough edge.

    "Hitchcock Railway" written by an unknown duo of Dunn/McCashen, is another great gritted-voiced rock song. On the vinyl release, this ended the first side, where 4 of the 5 songs featured the rough-edged rock voice of Joe Cocker.

    Side Two is a more softer side, consisting of ballads, rather than rough-edged tunes. "That's Your Business Now" (written by Joe Cocker and Chris Stainton), was another heavy-played tune in my early childhood, with its upbeat pop style. George Harrison's "Something" is a truly beautiful version by Cocker; not only his vocals are outstanding, likewise the musical arrangements, as well.

    Another upbeat rock song is the classic Leon Russell tune, "Delta Lady." Russell recorded it himself on his self-titled release, yet Cocker's version stands out as the true Classic. "Hello Little Friend" was also penned by Russell, and is another sweet soulful ballad, yet this was probably the only song that was the least played when my vinyl copy was still listenable. And the closing song, John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon" is another great soulful ballad for Cocker's voice, where his voice is rough to start with, yet it fits perfectly.

    Joe Cocker has rocked great classics throughout his entire career (now past its third decade!) Likewise his ballads have also been true Classics. In either case, his voice stands out as enjoyable, whether it be rough as heard in such classics as "The Letter" or "Unchain My Heart," his voice in his ballads become just as classic, as in "You Are So Beautiful" and many ballads heard on Joe Cocker! Rock has given us many unique voices, and Joe Cocker's is truly one of those. His voice has blended many styles: Rock, Soul, and the Blues. From his earliest years, to his more recent albums, Joe Cocker can still belt out great tunes, and with a little help from his friends, his tunes give a great flavor to those songs written by other well-known artists.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of A&M Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #770
    Cab Calloway--Hi-De-Hi!
    Next Review: #772
    Blues Brothers & Friends--Live From Chicago's House Of Blues